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McKnight Neighborhood Meeting 02/14/17

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Board Meeting: February 14, 2017                                                                                                

Approved March 21, 2017

Minutes McKnight Neighborhood Council

Meeting called to order by President Walter K at 6:00 pm. Board and audience introductions followed.

Board Members Present (7): Tawreak Eddington, Asst Treas; Walter Kroll, President; Nick Panteleakis; Damian Phillips,

Asst Secy/Clerk; Elizabeth O’Gilvie; Elizabeth Stevens, Treasurer; Paul Swenson

Board Members Not Present (8): Lloyd A Creswell; Lamont E Clemons; Lorenzo Gaines; Art Jones; Bryan McFarland,

Vice-President; Synthia Scott-Mitchell, Secy/Clerk; Ben Swan, Jr; Giselle Vizcarrondo

Administrative Staff:   Elizabeth Lederman

Neighborhood Members & Guests who signed in: Roberta Kilkenny, Alan Stearley

Guest Presentations: Joesiah Gonzalez, City Planning Department; Tyrra Minto, Gardening The Community


  • Joesiah Gonzalez, Springfield City Planning Department—Brownfield Remediation
  • A Brownfield is any type of land or building that is contaminated with hazardous substances such as mold, chemicals, oil, etc.   The City does not have the funds to do the Brownfield clean-ups that need to be done in Springfield, and relies on grant funds it receives to undertake these projects.
  • Mr Gonzalez has been speaking to the neighborhood councils and other civic organizations to ascertain what properties each neighborhood reports as a potential clean-up project, so the City can allocate grant funds to these projects.
  • Bay & Mcknight had an extensive study done in 2013 which mapped Brownfield properties in the area and was forwarded to Mr Gonzalez prior to the meeting.
  • He asked for any additions to the list, and the property of the corner of Thompson and Bay where the house was recently demolished was suggested as an additional site in the neighborhood.
  • Mr Gonzalez said that the City does not use funds to abate private properties.
  • City website has a map identifying Brownfields in the city.
  • Tyrra Minto, Gardening The Community
  • Tyrra is the Youth Program and Community Engagement Director for GTC
  • GTC currently has two gardens, one on Central and one on Hancock, and a farm on Walnut Street. The Hancock site is the main site. GTC will hold its annual plant sale there on Saturday May 13, the day before Mother’s Day.
  • The City Soul Farmer’s market is a partnership between the Springfield Food Policy Council and GTC, and operated last year on the corner lot at Thompson and State Streets each Saturday. This year’s site has yet to be finalized.
  • GTC youth members will be presenting at the April McKnight meeting about the other ways residents can purchase fresh produce from GTC. Youth grades 6 through 12 are welcome to join GTC.
  • SECRETARY’S REPORT: (Synthia Scott-Mitchell, absent) MOTION: (EO moved) to accept as presented; (PS seconded); (WK call for discussion); Motion unanimous.
  • Board representatives reviewed the minutes from the 01/10/17 Neighborhood Meeting and the 01/31/17 Executive Board Meeting.
  • TREASURER’S REPORT: (Elizabeth Stevens)
  • Treas Elizabeth S distributed copies of financial report. Reimbursement request for 2nd quarter CDBG expenses has been submitted to the City. Current bank balance is $2,553.21. Donation account which was opened for PayPal donations has $35.00--$25.00 of which came from the initial opening deposit.   An additional $10 donation made by check was deposited into that account.
  • Roberta K asked whether the PayPal account was secure in terms of how it was connected to the bank account. Admin Asst Elizabeth L explained how PayPal accounts work and that the bank account was secure in that PayPal had no direct access to it, and funds had to be manually transferred by an authorized user.
  • Rep Elizabeth O expressed the opinion that the PayPal had significant drawbacks and that the fees were too high as compared to other services that could be used to collect donations and that her recommendation continues to be that PayPal should not be used.  
  • MOTION: (PS moved) to accept the treasurer’s report as presented; (TE seconded); (WK call for discussion); Motion unanimous.
NEW BUSINESS—Open to the Floor
  • Rep Elizabeth O—requested that the Springfield Dispatch Supervisor, Melissa Nazarro, be invited back to the address the Council on what changes have occurred in her department since she spoke to the Council eight months ago, relative to the poor response and handling of the Rebecca Johnson playground shooting incident. Ms Nazarro to be invited to address the March meeting.
  • Rep Damian P suggested that the Board write a letter to the Public Schools recommending that they include a safe driving course in their curriculum to teach them safe driving techniques, the dangers of alcohol and driving, etc. Admin Asst Elizabeth L instructed to write the letter.
  • MOTION: (EO moved) to support Damian’s suggestion by making an inquiry as to whether safe driving is addressed in any of the components of the school curriculum; (ES seconded); (WK call for discussion); Motion unanimous.

  • Block Party Planning
  • Rep Lamont C had previously committed to funding the Block Party with a $1200 donation.
  • Rep Elizabeth S observed that now is the time to begin soliciting other donations from sources like Biy Y and Walmart
  • Need to contact last year’s vendors and groups who hosted tables.
  • Discussion about the possible goal of providing free food to everyone at the Block Party.
  • Tentative date of the Block Party established as June 10. Have not previously had a rain date for the Block Party. Agreement to establish June 17 as the rain date.
  • Some discussion about whether or not to hold the election at the Block Party.
  • Newsletter Ads
  • Admin Staff to send Ad Request Form out to Board members
  • Rep Elizabeth S requested a list of people and businesses who have previously purchased newsletter ads
  • June 1 established as target publication date
  • Discussion about whether the Council can sell ads or people have to “donate” since the Council is a 501 [c] 3; Rep Elizabeth O offered clarification about what non-profits can sell, and confirmed that it is okay to sell ads.

  • Rail Trail Committee—(Elizabeth Stevens, Chair)
  • Rep Elizabeth S has set up a separate Facebook page for the Rail Trail which is linked to the Council Facebook page which people may now visit and share.

  • Funding & Fundraising (Synthia Scott-Mitchell, Chair, Absent)
    • Rep Elizabeth O reported that her son’s school had done a “share the profits” fundraiser at 99 Restaurant on a Wednesday night and raised $2800. Will be doing another at Uno’s next month. Rep Tawreak E volunteered to contact restaurants and develop a list of possibilities for the next meeting. Elizabeth O also suggested that the Council might consider a booth at the Soul City Farmer’s Market as another opportunity for fundraising.

  • Food Access—(Elizabeth O’Gilvie, Chair)
    • Substantial incentives for purchasing fresh produce at the Farmer’s Market with SNAP benefits will be offered this year. For $20 worth of produce purchased on their EBT card, customers will receive a $10 instant rebate on their card. School food programs have greatly expanded in the last year, with free breakfasts at more schools in Springfield and at some schools free dinners are also being provided. Local fresh produce and fruits are now being provided in greater quantity.

  • Community Center, Traffic, & Streets—(Damian Phillips, Chair)MOTION: (EO moved) to send the letter with some corrections to City department heads and others as discussed; (ES seconded); (WK call for discussion); Motion unanimous. 
  • Rep Damian P presented an updated letter for review to be sent to elected representatives about his committee’s work and goals. Discussion about to whom the letter should go.

Adjournment: MOTION: (TE moved) to adjourn; (DP seconded); (WK called the question); Motion unanimous.


Submitted for approval by Elizabeth Lederman, Administrative Staff, 3/14/17